Barcelona and Girona is part of a 2 weeks trip that I took to Spain and Portugal in 2017. You can use my itineraries by stringing them together or use them separately pending on your travel. Feel free to ask me questions and I can help you create your itinerary.
I’m a solo female traveler, so safety is my number 1 concern. I always tell women travelers to be alert and aware of their surroundings, especially if you are by yourself. Always trust your instincts; if something doesn’t feel right, leave. Barcelona does have tons of tourists walking around all day; however, still be careful.
One of the app I always use when I travel is called Triposo. Triposo helps me plan my city walk, so I can minimize my traveling time within a city by grouping the sites I want to visit. It also tells me the walking distance between each location, so I know whether I need to hop on a public transportation or not. I used Google map to help me determine which train/bus to take if I need use a public transportation.
I highly recommend buying a Barcelona transportation pass since the tourist sites are pretty spread out. A 48 hour pass will cost about 14.50 euro. You can buy the pass from the vending machine at any metro stations. Do not buy the pass from an online 3rd party provider; they marked the ticket price up by at least 1.5 times. The pass will allow you to ride unlimited train, metro and buses. The pass is the most cost and time efficient way to get around Barcelona.
Day 1: By the time I arrived at the hotel, it was already 9:00pm, so I use the night to unwind. I stayed near Barcelona Saint (main station) because all metro/train stop and connects from there. My first meal was at La Paradeta, a local seafood restaurant. It was fresh, delicious, amazing seafood that was cooked and served tapa style. After my dinner, I strolled around the block and sat at a near by plaza. In Spain, you’ll find hidden plaza within the neighborhoods anywhere you go. Drinking a glass of wine/beer at one of these plazas is the best way to relax and mingle with the locals.
Day 2: I planned a really packed day since I was traveling alone. If you are traveling with others, then I would break the itinerary into two days since you’ll need more time for pictures. Triposo plays a key role on my walking plan to ensure that I don’t bounce around different parts of the town to see the attractions.
My first stop was the Sagrada Familia. The metro stop will lead you to the backside of the Sagrada Familiar. You will not get the best picture from the backside. You need to walk to the front of the church where you’ll be able to get a perfect shot of the Sagrada Familiar with the park. The ticket to visit inside the Sagrada is about 15 Euro. Make sure you book your ticket at least 2 days in advance.
My second stop is the Park Guell. Park Guell is located on the North side of the city. To get to the center of the park, it’ll requires lots of walking/hiking. When you climb to the top of the mountain, you’ll be able to see a view of the city. The view of the city didn’t blew me away. If you’re looking for a breathing Barcelona view, then you will need to go to Tibidabo Amusement park. Note that to get to the center of the park, it’ll cost you 7.00 euro.
After the park, I went to Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunha and Magic Fountain of Montjuic, which is located next to each other. Both the metro and bus will drop you off at the far end of the museum. The architecture of the museum was incredibly beautiful. You can easily spend an hour just walking the ground of the museum without going inside. There is also a water show that night, but the date and time depends on the season. If you plan to watch the water show at night, you can switch your itinerary around, so the museum is your last stop of the day.
Next attraction on the list was La Boqueria. La Boqueria is one of the largest European farmer market where you’ll be able to get fresh produce, snacks and lunch. After you’re all stuffed, you can visit La Ramba (perpendicular to La Boqueria). La Ramba is a street full of restaurants and bars, but be aware that you’ll be paying for tourist prices. Note, La Boqueria (and other stores) is not open on Sunday.
In the same vicinity of La Ramba, there are a few churches you can visit. Barcelona Cathedral is one of the more popular churches. You can pay to visit inside the church is if you are not wearing shorts and hats. Unfortunately, I was wearing shorts, so I didn’t get to go inside.
After walking around all day, I finally sat down for dinner at Cerveceria Catalana, which is a popular local tapa restaurant. The seafood at Cerveceria was amazing and the pricing was reasonable (5 – 10 euro each dish). I would recommend making a reservation since it’s very busy at all hours. Additionally, because Cerveceria is located in a shopping district, you’ll also be able to do some shopping either before or after dinner.
After diner, I stroll over to see the Casa Batlló. I wasn’t planning on making Batlló a stop because I didn’t find the architecture appealing, but since I was in the area, I decided to have a look to verify my assumption.
Day 3: I didn’t start my day until noonish since I was still dealing with jet lag. I really wanted a snapshot of the whole Barcelona, so I took a trip (1 hour from Barcelona center) to the Tidinaodo amusement park and climb up the tower of Temple Expiator del Sagra Cor (3.50 €) to see the view. The Barcelona city view from the Temple was mesmerizing! I spend a over an hour at the top of the Temple because I didn’t want to leave. As for the Tibidabo amusement park, there are a few rides that gets you as high as the top of the Temple tower, but you will need to buy separate tickets to ride those rides.
After visiting the Temple, I grabbed an early dinner at one of the restaurant at La Ramba before making my way to the Museu Nacional d’Art de for the water show (be sure to check the time). The water does run for an hour non-stop, so you wouldn’t need to rush to get there for the opening. I arrived a little earlier just so I can grab a few additional afternoon shots of the museum.
Day 4: One of the reasons I planned a really tight attraction day on my second day in Barcelona was because I wanted to take a day trip to Girona where the Game of Thrones was filmed. Girona is about 30 minutes train ride from Barcelona Saint station. The ticket price varies depending on the hour. I went on the 2:40pm train and returned on the 7:30pm train, so the tickets were only 30 euro.
Girona is a very small and quant town that half a day would be sufficient. It’s most well known for it’s colored wall by the lake and, of course, the Girona Cathedral where the Game of Thornes is filmed. Oh, one last note, if you’re a foodie, note that there is a 3-star Michelin-starred restaurant in Girona called El Celler de Can Roca. Until next time, adiós Barcelona & Girona!